Spinal Stenosis: A Cause of Long-Term Disability

Spinal stenosis is a medical condition in which space in the spinal column becomes abnormally narrow and puts painful pressure on the spinal cord. The openings from which spinal nerves branch out also shrink, pinching and irritating the nerves in the process. This is something that often occurs with age, when spinal discs begin to loosen and bulge and ligaments strained by arthritis or other bone diseases grow too large. Spinal tumors, herniated discs, and the degeneration of joints caused by osteoarthritis are common starting points for spinal stenosis.

Lumbar spinal stenosis is one type of the condition that specifically causes numbness and weakness in the lower back that can stretch to the legs, buttocks, and feet. Cervical spinal stenosis, which affects the neck, is another. In most cases, the condition initially causes mild pain—but the pain level increases over time. Normal symptoms of the disease include pain in the back and hip or neck and shoulders, cramping in the legs or arms and a lack of balance as the limbs become weaker. Stressing the spine through walking, leaning, or stretching will cause an increase in pain. Severe cases include a loss of control of the bladder and bowels.

Spinal stenosis, unlike many joint diseases, is something that can cause effects from birth. However, it generally only occurs alongside degenerative spinal changes associated with age. How much the condition can complicate your life depends on how badly the nerves are being affected. Some have the disease and are unable to walk for an extended period, but can otherwise function normally. Others experience immense pain that makes it difficult for them to do very much at all.

If you are disabled due to spinal stenosis, contact Mr. Ortiz at 850-308-7833 to discuss how you may be eligible to receive disability benefits.